On Holocaust Day, Norway issues apology for arrests and deportations of Jews
772 Norwegian Jews and Jewish refugees were deported to Nazi concentration camps during World War II; U.S. President says he is 'dedicated to give meaning to the words never again.'
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg Friday expressed "deep regret" that Norwegians took part in the arrests and deportations of Jews from the German-occupied country during World War II.
"Even though the Nazis' were responsible, it is time to see that police officers and other Norwegians took part in the arrests and deportations of Jews," Stoltenberg said in a speech on Holocaust Memorial Day.
"It is time to express our deep regret that this could occur on Norwegian soil," he added.
During the war, 772 Norwegian Jews and Jewish refugees were deported to Nazi concentration camps, only 34 survived.
German forces occupied Norway from April 9, 1940 to May 8, 1945. Holocaust Day marks the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet forces on January 27, 1945.
Also on Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement saying that "Michelle and I join people in the United States, in Israel, and across the globe as we remember the six million Jews and millions of others who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis."
"We commit ourselves to keeping their memories alive not only in our thoughts," the statement read, "but through our actions. As we remember all those who perished in camps from Auschwitz to Treblinka, Dachau to Sobibor, we pledge to speak truth to those who deny the Holocaust… together with the State of Israel, and all our friends around the world, we dedicate ourselves to giving meaning to those powerful words: “Never Forget. Never again.”